23 Things You Learn While Living In PhiladelphiaThese lessons are given with plenty of brotherly love.
1. First Things First You Need To Lose Some SyllablesYou can say “Philadelphia” anywhere else in the country, but if you’re now living here, it’s “Philly.”
2. Wawa Isn’t A Convenience Store, It’s A Way Of Life
Source: Wawa via FacebookWawa enjoys cult like status in the hearts and minds of all Philadelphians. And who can blame them? Where else can you get a delicious hoagie 27/7? Or drinks to die for like their peach tea, salted caramel latte and smoothies. Yep, Wawa is pretty much the greatest thing, ever.
3. The Only Thing People From Philly Love More Than Wawa Are The Local TeamsLook, the love that Philly locals have for their teams has been well documented. Philly fans are pretty much the most loyal in the nation, so win or lose (and lose, and lose) people here never give up on their teams. And this passion stretches across all sports, whether your talking about the Phillies, the 76ers, the Flyers you can count on Philly to be cheering along. And of course it goes without saying, if “da Iggles” are playing football, you’re watching. Period.
4. You Better Have Your Stats Straight, Too
Source: Flickr user Keith AllisonDon’t go to a game in Philly without knowing stats about the team. Don’t go to a bar to watch without knowing something about the team. And definitely, definitely, don’t go to a friend’s house to watch the game without learning something about the team. If you’re going to be surrounded by Philly fans, you better know why they’re so passionate.
5. Don’t Let Philadelphian’s Gruff Exterior Fool You
Source: Flickr user JackThis city may be known as the hub of brotherly love, but that doesn't mean that local affection is easy to come by. Philadelphians may have a hard exterior, but once you win them over, they’re loyal to the end.
6. There Is Nothing More Refreshing During A Philly Summer Than Water Ice
Source: Flickr user jthetzelTo outsiders water ice sounds a bit redundant, but to someone from Philly it sounds like heaven in cup. This flavored ice is the flavor of childhood here. Get one when it’s particularly hot out at Rita’s. For extra local points it’s pronounced “wooder ice.”
7. Nothing Will Out You Faster As An Outsider Than Running Up These Steps
Source: Flickr user AlphaTangoBravo / Adam BakerThe dozens of steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art were made famous by the “Rocky” film, but you wouldn’t be caught dead recreating that famous running scene—how touristy. Also, if you haven’t seen “Rocky” yet, don't tell anyone. The movie and the statue are a part of the city’s pop culture history. Netflix it, quickly.
8. While On The Subject Of Philly’s Place In Pop CulturePhilly has its lauded place in history—why, thanks, Ben Franklin—but it’s also a fixture in pop culture. For instance, we all know that a certain prince was born and raised in West Philadelphia before he went west. That reference won’t get old any time soon. Sometimes “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” absolutely nails what it's like to live here. And it always makes us laugh. There’s also the fact that we get to see Philly natives, the Roots, perform on “The Tonight Show” throughout the week. Basically Philly deserves its own star on the Walk of Fame.
9. Knowing Which Neighborhoods Is Your Perfect Fit Is Half The Battle
Source: Wikicommons user Boothy443Most importantly, downtown is actually referred to as “Center City,” so don’t get confused. University City is named after what you’d expect—it’s the home of the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University—and it may take you a bit to get used to seeing places named “Manayunk,” and the like.
10. Everyone In Philly Is Fiercely Passionate About Their NeighborhoodOnce you do pick a neighborhood you love, it almost becomes the equivalent of your little brother. If someone talks bad about it, he’s going to hear from you. You can pick on your neighborhood, but if someone else does there’s gonna be trouble.
11. Get Ready To Learn A Second LanguageHere are a few words that you’re going to hear in Philly: “Jimmies,” “Scrapple,” and “hoagies,” which are otherwise known as “sprinkles,” “meat,” and “subs” (careful). There are obviously plenty more words to know about, but let’s just start you off there.
12. OMG! The Cheesesteaks. The. Cheesesteaks.
Source: Flickr user ArletteSome people will tell you that a cheesesteak is a tourist thing, but it’s not—locals love them, too. I mean, if you have taste buds at all you can’t help but worship at the altar of this cheesy, meaty deliciousness. You can ask locals where their favorite joints are, and they’ll tell you. Just be ready for everyone else around you to chime in, too.
13. Speaking Of Where To Go—Or Not Go—For Cheesesteaks
Source: Flickr user j.reedPlaces like Pat’s and Geno’s get a lot of flack for being the places where tourists go. But you know what? Don’t knock it ‘til you try it. (At least for argument’s sake.) Besides, any excuse to try another cheesesteak is a good one, right?
14. In Philly Mummers Make Us Cheer
Source: Flickr user irisThe Mummers Parade is a Philly tradition that takes place annually on New Year’s Day. It began in 1901 and is believed to be the oldest folk parade in the country. What is it exactly? Mummers are parade participants who belong to clubs, and the clubs perform according to their category: Fancies, Spring Bands, Fancy Brigades, Wench Brigades, and Comics. The costumes alone are reason to line the streets.
15. This Sip Will Last For The Rest Of The Year
Source: Center City Sips via FacebookCenter City Sips is a Philly-wide event that takes place in the summer—and it’s almost as smile inducing as the weather itself. Restaurants and bars participate in discounted drinks and appetizers for a couple of hours every week, and it’s your chance to try out new places. Then, you take those tips—like where to find a tasty post-work cocktail—and become a regular for the rest of the year.
16. One Of The Best Things About Philly Is This Beautifully Boozy Garden
Source: Frankford Hall via FacebookPhilly is full of watering holes—from the dark dive to the loud club—to help you have a fun night out. When it’s warm out, or at least warm enough under a heat lamp, opt to drink at a beer garden. The city’s largest beer garden, and the one to get the ball rolling on the concept here, is Frankford Hall.
17. But If You Want Enough Choices For A Food Coma, There’s Reading TerminalOpened at the end of the 19th century and recently renovated, the Reading Terminal Market features about 80 vendors and more than 30 restaurants. Make it your mission to find your favorite combination of eats.
18. If You’re Really Lucky A Coworker Will Bring Soft Pretzels To Work
Source: Flickr user Coryn WolkOne day, your coworker is going to decide to do one of the nicest things a person can do in Philly: bring soft pretzels to work. You won’t understand why someone would do something so selfless, but you won’t question it, either. And if your coworkers haven’t caught onto this gesture yet, treat yourself to a soft pretzel from a street vendor.
19. Visit The Liberty Bell Because Everyone Should At Least Once
Source: Flickr user pepsilineThe Liberty Bell is where we take our out-of-town friends who have never been here before. If you’ve never seen it, blend it with the tourists one last time.
20. SEPTA Is How You Get EverywhereYour train is late. It’s grimy. It smells. Whatever your complaint about the subway may be, don't worry. You’re not the first to think it. But this is still so much better than risking a parking ticket.
21. If You Like Feeling Cultured, You’ve Come To The Right Place
Source: City of Philadelphia Mural Arts ProgramAside from the multitude of museums, theaters, and music venues that dot the city —we’re thinking about you, Avenue of the Arts—there’s also the Mural Arts Program. This 30-year-old program has created thousands of murals throughout the city, which you can tour on foot or by public transit.
22. Know That Your City Is Worth The Hype
Source: Flickr user Michael W. MurphyPhilly stands apart from New York City, Boston, and D.C.—and it has other (some might say better) things to offer than those cities. Don’t let that “overlooked” mentality seep into your love for this place.
23. But If You’re Going To Dismiss Somewhere……Go ahead and roll your eyes at New York City. What’s something you learned living in Philadelphia? Tell us in the comments below!
Zip Codes and Neighborhoods in Philadelphia, PA
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